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4 day public school week

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The two articles assigned address the controversial topic of schools converting to a four-day school week. The main reason for this transition would be for schools to save money which was discussed in both articles. Many schools found that eliminating Fridays can save money on transportation, heating, food services and substitute teachers. The articles also stated that the number of student, teacher and staff absences also declined. Students’ scores increased which they believe is due to additional class time in the extended hours of a four-day week. This also provides the opportunity for students to catch up on any projects, assignments and participate in any extracurricular activities. Many teachers and staff would still be present on Fridays to complete paperwork, tutor, meet with parents and to help with the extracurricular activities.

Small school districts in rural areas such as New Mexico, South Dakota and Colorado follow the four-day school week. This was due to the 1970 energy crisis. After this crisis ended, many of these schools never went back to a full five days of school. Many individuals in these small communities preferred the four-day school week rather than the traditional five-day school week.

I understand that by eliminating Fridays from the normal school week costs are cut significantly, but I feel that the majority of staff and students will not use this day off to focus on studies or extracurricular activities in their schools. I believe fewer school days will reduce reinforcement of learned concepts. I also believe extending the remaining school days might affect students’ attention spans, enthusiasm and comprehension. Students will be arriving at school much earlier and getting home even later than before. After a long day of school, they will be physically and mentally drained and will then have to begin work on homework assignments or projects. Many students will be staying up later and getting up earlier so they can complete their homework. The next day they will arrive at school even more fatigued than the previous day. By the end of the week, student performance will decline a great deal.

A shorter school week would require teachers to adjust to a longer school day and change their methods of teaching in order to keep student attention at high levels. Teachers would have probably overhaul their curriculum as well in order for their lessons to be taught in the new timeframe. Overall, I feel these schools which have already converted to a four-day school week have not taken sufficient time to think their decision through completely.

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